Listen to five seconds of every Billboard Hot 100 single

Here's some nostalgia to accompany today’s front-page story about measuring pop music’s popularity in the digital era: A rapid-fire tour through every Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single from the last six decades.

With slumping album sales no longer providing the most accurate measure of which pop stars are on top, Bill Werde, editorial director at Billboard Magazine, told Post pop music critic Chris Richards that Billboard’s singles chart is still an accurate matrix of popularity.

Now, as weak album sales bring the Billboard 200 closer to obsolescence, Werde touts the Hot 100 singles chart as Billboard’s signature and most enduring chart.

“Singles culture has come and gone and come and gone. And it’s come again now,” he says of the Hot 100, which ranks the popularity of songs based on sales, radio airplay, and online streams on certain platforms.

Check out, via SoundCloud users, the rise and fall and rise again of singles culture, through more than 50 years of music.

From Elvis to the Beach Boys to Marvin Gaye to ABBA to Men at Work:

From Michael Jackson to "We Are the World" to Bon Jovi to Rick Astley to Roxette:

From Mariah Carey to the Notorious B.I.G. to the Spice Girls to OutKast to Lady Gaga:

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.

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